It always makes me happy to hear from Joe. He wrote something new: How mobile phones can replace a broken economy: The Mobile Manifesto:
When we talk about trouble with the economy, we’ve been overlooking an astounding opportunity. Something new is possible for the first time in thousands of years. If you care about the planet, if you care about your kids, if you care about other people, this is something to pay attention to.
While we continue to argue about capitalism and socialism, for the first time a third option is really possible. We can build a more sophisticated, dynamic, distributed approach to organizing labor and resources than has ever been attempted before.It's bold and sensible. It has made sense for the past couple of years, when it became clear to me that the deeper ideas behind the sharing of free software and free information are applicable to the real world, the real economy. It was no wonder I met Joe 2 years ago at the CouchSurfing Collective in New Zealand; it was amazing experience to work with him. His analysis of modern life is razor sharp and combined with his desire for change we could start seeing "actual people, in vicinity to one another, thinking about each others’ needs, and helping each other, in person and on the ground".
Unlike existing networks based on short messaging (twitter, broadtexter, brightkite, etc), Groundcrew focuses on finding and coordinating like-minded strangers rather than friends. Groups form based on common beliefs, needs, and interests. Broad groups exist for those interested in good deeds, adventures, exchanges, and more. Another differentiating factor is that Groundcrew aggregates information about members’ immediate availability for action, together with agents’ passions and dreams. This is opposed to other services (twitter, facebook) which work more generally with status updates and feeds.